Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9810484:


He likes the D 23 2, 3:21pm

@Rogers Yeah, the -ur (in the nominative case) is the same as the Old Norse -r. For example, Haraldr -> Haraldur. In a lot of respects, Icelandic hasn't changed much over time :) Although it has changed in some really weird ways - for example, opposite of most Nordic languages, sæng is duvet and dýna is mattress. I suspect it's because in the old days, due to poverty, there really wasn't much of a difference between a duvet and a mattress... you slept on a bench and wrapped yourself with whatever warm thing you had, under and over.

I do love that we create new words rather than just importing, though. It's funny if you look up any random technical topic on Wikipedia then mouseover the articles for the topics in other languages... Icelandic is always a standout. For example, just to pick a random one, "photon" - it's Foton, Fotón, Foto, Footon, Fotono, etc etc... and then you get to Icelandic and its "ljóseind" ;) And it's not like French where you have the "proper" word but most people use the taken word... e.g. we really do use the Icelandic words. I mean, to be fair, there still are plenty of cases where we also have borrowed words, particularly with young people (and some English words have basically become part of the language... including, annoyingly, the word "basically" :Þ). But we really do try :)